Updated: Nov 3
Located in Santa Monica, California, 18th Street Art Center is considered a top artist residency programs in the US, not to mention one of the largest on the West Coast. During the 70’s & 80’s feminists artists Judy Chicago, Susanna Bixby Dakin, Barbara T. Smith, Linda Frye Burnham used this space as their studio and as the center for what was becoming an avante garde, radically motivated, artist community turned think tank.
Top left to right: Judy Chicago, Susanna Bixby Dakin, Barbara T. Smith, Linda Frye Burnham
18th Street quickly became known as a site for activism, journalism, and performance art in Los Angeles. ACT-UP, an activist grassroots organization addressing the AIDS crisis, had a west coast chapter there and it was considered home to three of the NEA Four (Tim Miller, John Fleck, and Holly Hughes). The NEA Four, if you aren’t familiar, was a group of performance artists whose grants were overtly vetoed on the basis of subject matter after the artists had successfully passed through a peer process. For example, John Fleck’s grant was vetoed for a performance comedy with a toilet prop because it was deemed obscene. It was also where High Performance Magazine was published, and later, Highways Performance Space (still located on the 18th Street Arts Center campus).
In 1988 they became a non-profit and an artist residence in order to support artists– not only within the LA community, but from around the world. Their mission remains to “provoke public dialogue through contemporary art-making. They believe that: Art making is an essential component of a vibrant, just and healthy society. Creative action is a vital part of individual wellbeing. Humanity benefits when artists are valued.”
18th STREET HAS 3 RESIDENCY PROGRAMS:
1-3 years for local Los Angeles-based artists at the 18th & Olympic and Airport Avenue campuses. Local studio artist residencies are open to local artists who wish to rent either live/work or day studios at the center for terms of 1-2 years with a possibility for renewal. This program is open to artists of all disciplines, as well as small, artist-run initiatives. The 18th Street campus studios are subsidized in part by 18th Street Arts Center at far below market rate in an effort to provide local artists with affordable rental properties within Santa Monica. (prices ranging between $1.00 and $2.00 square feet; most studios range from 400 to 1,000 square feet.) The Airport campus is a city-owned building with 28 studios. The artists hold leases directly with the City of Santa Monica, who set the terms for the leases according to market-rate indicators. 18th Street Arts Center acts as facility and program managers. Applications are reviewed when they are received, and applicants are chosen by an outside selection committee of experts. However, until a studio space is open, the selection committee will not evaluate applications for consideration. Studios open up on average every 2 to 3 years.
ORGANIZATION IN RESIDENCE
For non-profits who have helped define the character and scope of the organization. The Organization Residence invites art organizations to become “anchor tenants” that help to define the character and scope of the organization through programmatic partnerships and community-building. Many of our current organizations in residence have been with the organization since it was founded in 1988, but spaces do occasionally open up. This program is by invitation only and the duration is more than three years.
Current organizations: Highways Performance Space and Gallery & Art Reality Studio
VISITING ARTIST RESIDENCY
For national and international visiting artists and curators. There are four live/work artist studios at the arts center where artists are in residence from 1 to 3 months at a time. This program hosts artists of all disciplines as well as art curators, writers, and musicians. It includes invited artists as well as artists selected through an open application process. Many international artists have access to funding through their cultural ministries or other programs, and we encourage artists to secure funding to cover the costs of the residency through various funding programs. In some cases, we have agreements with cultural ministries and other funders to underwrite artist residencies. Artists may also choose to cover the basic costs of the residency themselves.
18th ST. Airport Campus Interior
2022 ARTISTS IN RESIDENCE:
This and more information can be found at https://18thstreet.org